Estimating the Potential Economic Impact of Haiti’s 2021 Earthquake

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Sep 2021
This paper employs a simple methodology to estimate the potential economic damages of the 2021 earthquake in Haiti. The country registered a magnitude 7.2 earthquake off the South Coast on August 14, 2021, that resulted in 2,248 deaths, 12,763 injured and substantial damages to houses and other infrastructure. An additional 329 persons remain missing. We estimate economic damages using econometric techniques and a dataset on natural disasters across a wide range of countries and over an extended time period. Based on this analysis, damages for the 2021 earthquake in Haiti are estimated to reach US$1.6 billion (9.6 percent of GDP) for a scenario with an impact of 2,500 dead or missing. We also generate confidence intervals on these results. We hope these early estimates will provide a useful input to the ongoing Post-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDNA) and will assist the government and its international partners plan efforts to assist the country in terms of relief and reconstruction.